Immune Boost Tincture (that tastes good too!)
If you’re like me, then you find yourself realizing that you needed to start a tincture a month ago in order to have medicine on hand at present. Fortunately this year, I had enough foresight to make my Immune Boost tincture very early in the season, before my local co-op sold out of elderberries and elderflowers (per usual each winter). I also made enough to immunize a village! I’m selling 2 oz bottles for $12.
Here is a breakdown of the herbs I used this year, and explanations for why I chose them:
Elderberry: contain flavonoids, tannins, volatile oil, phenolic acids, vitamins A and C. Used internally for the flu, cold, mucus, sinusitis, and rheumatism.
Elderflower: same as above, but specifically addresses fever.
Yerba Santa: expels phlegm, lowers fever, and also pleasant tasting.
Echinacea: contains alkylamides, polysaccharides, echinosides, inulin, flavonoids, polyacetylenes, and more constituents which provide a whole host of anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, immune-stimulating, detoxifying effects.
Goji Berry: general tonic, that I also threw in for vitamin C and for taste.
Schisandra Berry: general tonic, also relieves dry cough, that I also threw in for taste.
St. John’s Wort: nature’s anti-depressant, that I threw in to help with the sickness blues.
I use alcohol (80 proof vodka) because it’s a better solvent than water for extracting plant constituents, while acting as a preservative.
As always, I use only organic herbs, and they were steeped for two moon cycles. I start my tinctures during the new moon and end (strain out the herbs) two new moons later. Why? Because new moons signify (to me, at least) new beginnings. It’s all just to put deeper intention into my work, which I believe increases the potency of the medicine and enables it to be the best quality.
Bown, Deni. New Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses: the Definitive Guide to the Identification, Cultivation, and Uses of Herbs the Definitive Guide to the Identification, Cultivation and Uses of Herbs. Dorling Kindersley, 2001.
Hoffmann, David. The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal. Element, 1996.